Birdland Reflex - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Birdland Reflex

Model of c. 1906

Sanders & Crowhurst



Image of Birdland Reflex

f6.3, 210 mm Goerz Doppel Anastigmat Series III Dagor, iris diaphragm to f64. Serial no. 162007 .

Goerz focal-plane, speeds 1/25 - 1/1000. Tension calibrated 1 - 10, slit width calibrated 1 - 7. Separate focusing slit.

Green leather covered mahogany body, bronzed metal parts, leather bellows.

3 " x 4 " plates held in dark-slides.

Bellows to 34" with combined lens and 9 feet with rear element only. Double extension.

Reflex viewing through taking lens. Ground glass 4" x 4" focusing screen.
Reversing back. Spirit level. Retaining slot for front element of lens.

Address 71 Shaftesbury Av. London W.

Hooded focusing screen. Lens cap.

Birdland Reflex

Model of 1910

James A. Sinclair & Co. Ltd



Image of Birdland Reflex

Goerz focal-plane, speeds 5s - 1/1000.

Leather covered mahogany body.

4" x 5" plates held in slides.

Bellows. Double extension.

Reflex viewing through taking lens. Ground glass 4 ⅝" x 4 ⅝" focusing screen.
Revolving back. Removable focusing hood.

Rising front.

The Birdland is a very simple camera introduced in 1903. The shutter is a self-contained unit attached to the back of the camera without any special connections to the mirror. A knob is rotated to bring the mirror down which is locked by the release trigger. On release, the mirror rotates up and an attached lever trips the external shutter release. An improved Goerz shutter was fitted c.1906.

A tropical version was available from c.1906 this had a finish of polished wood and was brass bound. A half-plate model also became available at this time. Around this date a 'reversing frame' model was advertised, these were slightly larger and fitted with longer focus lenses. Assuming that a reversing frame is a reversing back, this would imply that earlier models took either square or fixed orientation exposures.

Both Sanders and Crowhurst had previously worked for Watson & Sons.

The Birdland was originally manufactured by Sanders & Crowhurst to the design of Oliver G. Pike. In 1910 Sanders & Co., successors to Sanders & Crowhurst, was taken over by J. A. Sinclair who manufactured the Birdland for a few more years.

As originally produced the camera was available in 3 " x 4 " and 4" x 5" sizes, the recommended lens being an f6 Goerz Doppel Anastigmat with a focal length of 7" and 8 " respectively. Later a Celor lens was sold. The camera was finished in dull green leather with bronzed metal parts. Three focusing hoods were available:

  • Conventional chimney-type viewing hood.
  • One containing an angled mirror for eye-level use.
  • The third option was added a year or two later, it incorporated a mirror for eye-level work and was fitted with a tubular magnifier.

The camera was advertised as most suitable for bird and wildlife photography, an area specialised in by Pike.

Following the take over by Sinclair a number of changes were introduced: the covering was black leather rather than green; a revolving back was fitted rather than reversing; the available lens range was increased, and included an f6.3 Zeiss Tessar. Production by Sinclair did not last for very long.

References & Notes:
BJA 1904, p. 1362. BJA 1905, pp. 894, 1362. BJA 1906, p. 1160. BJA 1907, p. 1586. BJA 1908, p. 1256. BJA 1909, p. 1199. BJA 1910, p. 988. BJA 1911, p. 1010. BJA 1912, p. 1013.

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